“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” he said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”One might say that Biden was simply adorning Obama with compliments but to call him articulate is certainly an act of unconscious racism. The comparison may have been to admittedly eccentric past black candidates such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Nonetheless, Biden would have never used such an adjective regarding a white politician. It is clear that Obama is a competent contender and so it goes without saying that he is articulate. No candidate (without the help of Karl Rove) could get anywhere in politics without some ability to speak well. The adjective “clean” didn’t help Biden much either; he clearly messed up his entrance into this race.
Biden apologized soon after his remark but he’ll have to climb out of the hole he’s dug himself unless he wants to go the way of George Allen.